Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck accidents are among the most devastating types of collisions on the road. They can cause serious injuries, property damage, and even death. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 5,096 fatal crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses in 2018.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, you may be wondering what to do next. How can you get compensation for your losses? Who is responsible for the accident? How can you prove your case? This is where an experienced truck accident lawyer can help.
What Are The Main Causes of Truck Accidents in California?
Truck accidents occur for a variety of reasons, namely truck driver errors. Distractions like texting, talking, eating, drinking, or looking at navigation systems can cause inattention on the road – either visually, manually, or cognitively. For a truck driver, even a few seconds of inattention can cost lives. The average truck weighs 80,000 pounds, while a passenger vehicle weighs merely 5,000 pounds. Considering this enormous difference in weight and size, passenger vehicle occupants are much more likely to suffer serious injuries in a truck crash.
Benefits of Hiring a Truck Accident Attorney
Everyday, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, delivery trucks, dump trucks, and more large commercial vehicles cross U.S. roadways. Unfortunately, there is no anticipating when and where an accident will happen. If you were injured in a truck accident, you have legal rights to compensation. Here’s how a truck accident attorney can help you protect those rights:
1. Investigate the Accident and Gather Evidence
A truck accident lawyer can collect and preserve evidence from the accident scene, such as photos, videos, expert witness statements, police reports, and more. They can also obtain records and documents from the truck driver and the trucking company. These include driver logs, inspection reports, maintenance records, GPS data, and black box data.
2. Determine Liability and Fault
Commercial truck accidents are far more complex than the average car accident. This is because multiple parties are involved, including the vehicle driver, the truck driver, and the truck company. A knowledgeable attorney can analyze and identify all the parties who may be liable for your injuries and damages. They can also determine who was at fault for the accident by proving negligence or violation of regulations.
3. Calculate Your Damages
In order to win a successful truck accident claim, the victim must show they suffered damages, or losses due to the accident. A truck accident lawyer can help you assess the full extent of your losses, both economic and non-economic. These may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.
4. Negotiate With Multiple Insurance Companies
The insurance company is not your friend in this situation – and truck accident attorneys know that. An attorney can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and protect you from their tactics to minimize or deny your claim. They can also negotiate a fair settlement that covers your current and future needs.
5. File a Lawsuit If Necessary
If the insurance companies refuse to offer a reasonable settlement or if there are multiple parties involved in the accident, a truck accident lawyer can file a lawsuit and represent you in court. They can present your case to a judge or jury and seek the maximum compensation that you deserve.
How Much Is My California Truck Accident Case Worth?
As said earlier, a truck accident lawyer can help you calculate damages and recover compensation following a truck accident. But how do you know what you qualify for? Generally speaking, the more serious the accident and injuries, the more compensation you will receive. For example, if you suffered a brain injury, you are likely facing years of medical treatment and rehabilitation. You may also not return to work. Your truck accident claim should cover all the current and future losses.
Who Is Responsible for a Truck Accident?
Unlike car accidents, where the fault usually lies with one or both drivers, truck accidents can involve multiple liable parties.
- Truck driver: The truck driver may be responsible for the accident if they engaged in negligent or careless behavior such as speeding, driving under the influence, or texting while driving. The truck driver may also be responsible if they violated federal or state regulations, such as hours of service, driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, or cargo loading.
- Trucking company: Trucking companies are responsible for the trucks and truck drivers it puts on the road. If the trucking company failed to conduct a background check, drug test, or medical exam on the driver, or failed to discipline or fire a driver with a history of violations or accidents, they may be held liable. The trucking company may also be responsible if they allowed the driver to violate regulations or safety standards, such as driving beyond the legal time limits, overloading the truck, or skipping inspections.
- Truck owner: The owner of the truck may be responsible for the accident if they failed to maintain or repair the truck properly. For example, if the owner of the truck ignored a recall notice, used defective parts, or skipped routine maintenance checks, they could be responsible. The owner of the truck may also be at fault if they leased or rented the truck to an unfit or unqualified driver or company.
- Truck manufacturer: While rare, some truck accidents are caused by defective or faulty components, such as the truck’s brakes, tires, steering system, or engine. In this case, the manufacturer of the truck or its parts may be responsible for the accident
- Cargo owner or loader: The cargo owner or loader may be responsible for the accident if they loaded or secured the cargo improperly. For example, if the cargo owner or loader overloaded the truck, distributed the weight unevenly, or failed to label hazardous materials correctly, they may be liable if negligent.
- Other drivers on the road: Other drivers on the road may be responsible for the accident if they were negligent or careless in driving their vehicles. For example, if another driver cut off, tailgated, swerved into, or collided with a truck, they could be at fault for the accident.
Contact Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers in Irvine
Never assume you don’t have a case just because you think it’s too complex. The truck accident lawyers at Woodbridge Accident Lawyers have years of experience obtaining maximum compensation for clients injured in all types of trucking accidents and auto accidents. We will help you investigate your accident and determine the right course of action. We offer a completely free consultation by phone or in person, with no obligation to sign with us. Call us at (949) 749-1575 or complete our online form for a free case evaluation today.